Erika Carter has been appointed principal at Key Middle School. Carter is a product of HISD and a proud graduate of Kashmere High School. She began her career as a sixth-grade reading teacher at Hamilton Middle School. She served as assistant principal at Garcia Elementary before becoming the principal of Betsy Ross Elementary. Betsy Ross met state standards during Carter’s first year there after being identified as “Improvement Required” the previous three years. Academic excellence under Carter continued as the campus earned three state distinctions in 2017. Carter begins her 20th year in HISD by returning to her middle–school roots at Key Middle. She believes that rigorous instruction, demanding work, and a culture of excellence will prepare her scholars for college and beyond.
Five boys and five girls from 10 different HISD schools will be testing the limits of their vocabulary on Saturday, April 2, when they take part in the finals of the Houston Public Media spelling bee. The top two winners of the Houston-area competition will be eligible to advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee near Washington, D.C., in May.
This year’s local contest is particularly meaningful for two HISD students: fifth-grader Bryan Moore (Lovett ES) and eighth-grader Christine Bowyer (Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan).
Construction of the field began in October 2014 through a partnership between the Fondren Foundation and the Stacey and Bo Porter SELF Foundation. The new field will provide middle-school athletes with a high-quality space on which to practice their skills and compete. Continue reading
Join us in the cafeteria for a side order of entertainment through May 22
For the next eight months, employees and visitors who come to the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center cafeteria for lunch can stay for a side order of entertainment!
SELF and Fondren foundations bring baseball, unity to school community
When baseball season begins next spring, the students at Francis Scott Key Middle School will be running the bases of their new baseball field. The Stacey and Bo Porter SELF Foundation, in partnership with the Fondren Foundation, are together donating the construction and support for the field.
“Part of our mission is facility improvements, and this is a step in that direction,” said Bo Porter, chairman of SELF — which stands for Sports, Education, Lifeskills, and Faith.
Burbank and Elrod elementary schools to keep magnet status for 2014-2015 academic year
The Houston Independent School District is restoring the magnet designation at two elementary schools following a thorough review of the schools’ presentations and related documentation during the appeal process. Burbank and Elrod elementary schools will keep their magnet designation and funding for the 2014-2015 academic year.
“As we listened to the magnet program representatives who presented appeals, the committee was looking for clear evidence that these programs were on the path to meeting the magnet standards within one to two years,” HISD Assistant Superintendent of School Choice Dave Wheat said. “After a lot of deliberation, we’re pleased to announce that we are restoring the magnet designation at Elrod and Burbank elementary schools.”
During the appeal process, Burbank administrators presented to the committee nearly 40 additional applications they have received from non-zoned students. Those additional applications bring their percentage of non-zoned students to 16.52 percent, just under the minimum standard of 20 percent. In addition, Burbank will be adding three classrooms to increase capacity and accommodate additional non-zoned students.
As for Elrod, school administrators showed the committee their consistent enrollment growth over the past three years, going from 4 percent at the start of the magnet program to nearly 14 percent this year. Also, because Elrod changed its magnet theme in 2012 from math, science and technology to Emerging Medical Scholars, the committee felt more time was needed to assess the program’s viability.
However, Burbank and Elrod, like all magnet schools in HISD, will be re-evaluated at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 school year and every year thereafter to assess compliance with the enrollment goals and state accountability system ratings.
The Magnet Appeal Review Committee is still reviewing Law Elementary’s appeal, with a site visit planned for Wednesday morning.
“This is HISD’s first step in applying system standards across the district to ensure we maintain a high level of excellence at all schools,” Wheat said. “It is critically important that we ensure all magnet programs are meeting the enrollment and academic requirements set forth by HISD’s Board of Education.”
In May of 2013, the HISD Board of Trustees adopted a new policy that included the 20 percent non-zoned enrollment requirement for all magnet schools and the 100 non-zoned magnet students per grade level requirement for secondary magnet schools. The policy also stated that magnet schools would be held accountable for student academic outcomes aligned with the Board Monitoring System and/or current accountability standards.
As a result, HISD made the decision last month to remove the magnet designation from 20 magnet schools with the lowest percentages of non-zoned students enrolled. The schools were notified of this decision and were given the opportunity to appeal. Thirteen campuses filed an appeal but only Burbank and Elrod were approved to keep their magnet programs.
At the end of this academic year, the following 18 schools are slated to lose their magnet status and will only receive half of their funding during the 2014-2015 academic year: Law (under review), Pleasantville, Wesley, and West University elementary schools; Attucks, Deady, Dowling, Holland, Jackson, Key, and Patrick Henry middle schools; and Jones, Lee, Madison, Sharpstown, Westbury, Wheatley and Worthing high schools.
Twenty of HISD’s 115 magnet programs are not attracting enough students
Twenty HISD magnet school programs that are not drawing enough students from outside their neighborhoods will be closed after the 2013-2014 school year under a plan announced Thursday.
These 20 magnet school programs enroll a combined 758 students from outside their attendance zones.
The Houston Independent School District is inviting students from the Children First Academy, a charter school closed this week by the Texas Education Agency, to enroll in HISD.
HISD Board of Education Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones and various administrators addressed dozens of parents at a public meeting at Kashmere High School Tuesday on the proposed changes to school attendance zones to prepare for the North Forest transition. The school zone changes would impact Kashmere High School as well as Key Middle School and Cook, Kashmere Gardens, McGowen and Paige elementary schools.